November 16, 2017

Maureen Ambrosino | Movers & Shakers 2009 – Activists

Maureen Ambrosino, Central Massachusetts Regional Library System, ShrewsburyMeant To Be

Fourteen years ago, Maureen Ambrosino was working for a newspaper in the New York Adirondack mountains. One day she answered a fateful phone call, and her career trajectory changed from media to media services. On the line was someone looking to place a classified ad for a library director—no degree required—in the neighboring town of 1000 people. She applied and was hired. “I realized, in just a short time on the job, that the library was where I was meant to be all along,” Ambrosino says. As the sole employee, she “had to do it all: cataloging, collection development, outreach, programming, grants, and so on. It was a fantastic learning experience.”

An MLS and a decade in Texas libraries later, Ambrosino, a youth services consultant for the 250 libraries in CMRLS, has forged initiatives focused on teens and technology since 2005, most notably a Library Services & Technology Act grant–supported “Year of the Teen” program. She brought in expert trainers from around the country to teach YA librarians and staff how to work effectively with teens. Within a year, teen summer reading programs tripled from eight to 24 libraries “and even more in 2008,” she says. “The results were astounding.”

Although her YA and teen work in libraries speaks for itself, she speaks for herself in her activist work. School Library Journal (SLJ) has been following her advocacy evolution from her minicomic “The Metamorphosis; or, How I Went from Being a Quiet Bystander to a Raging Library Activist” (SLJ 1/08) to her video project with teen library supporters to defeat a ballot initiative that would have eliminated state funding for libraries (SLJ Extra Helping 11/6/08).

A fortuitous phone call can change a person’s life.

Vitals

Central Massachusetts Regional Library System (CMRLS), Shrewsbury

POSITION Youth Services Consultant

DEGREE MSLS, University of North Texas, 2001

BIG HONOR Chosen TALL (Texas Accelerated Library Leaders) Texan in 2004

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